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Posted On Saturday, 03.03.2012 / 3:05 PM

By Matt Kalman -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - At the Rink blog

Boston's Rask injured in Saturday's game


BOSTON – Bruins goaltender Tuukka Rask was injured in the second period of Saturday afternoon's 3-2 loss to the New York Islanders at the TD Garden.

The Bruins did not provide an update after the game on the seriousness of the injury, but several reporters saw Rask leaving the arena on crutches. He will not travel to New York City for Sunday's NHL on NBC game against the New York rangers (12:30 p.m. ET).

The club called up minor-league goalie Michael Hutchinson under emergency conditions to back up Tim Thomas in Sunday's game.

Rask seemed to injure his left leg when attempting to make a save on a wide shot by Islanders forward Matt Martin. Rask fell onto his back to draw the whistle at 9:01 of the period and was replaced by Tim Thomas after the television timeout.

The game was tied at 1-1 at that point and Thomas let up two goals to absorb the loss.

"It's no fun whenever you see your partner get hurt," Thomas said after the game. "And you worry about him."

Milan Lucic, who scored the game's opening goal, said it was hard to see Rask helped off the ice after injuring his leg.

"It's obviously not great to see him not being able to get up after an effort to make a save," Lucic said. "He's been a big part of this team, as well, throughout the season. It (stinks) that he had to leave the game, but hopefully he's going to get better soon."


Rask had his left knee scoped this past summer, a procedure that didn't cause him to miss any time once training camp opened. He entered Saturday's game with a record of 11-8-3, a goals-against average of 2.05 and a .929 save percentage.

The Bruins likely had plans to use Rask regularly down the stretch to spell Thomas as the Bruins schedule is congested in the season's final month. Depending on the severity of the injury, that plan may have to be altered.

"You're hoping to be able to utilize your two goaltenders in this stretch because the next two weeks there's about four games per week," coach Claude Julien said "But we'll have to make do some way."









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Posted On Saturday, 03.03.2012 / 1:02 PM

By Matt Kalman -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - At the Rink blog

Bruins-Isles lineups

BOSTON – The Boston Bruins will be without defenseman Andrew Ference, while defenseman Johnny Boychuk makes his return after a two-absence with a concussion Saturday against the New York Islanders at the TD Garden.

Ference suffered a lower-body injury Thursday in the third period of an overtime win against New Jersey. He did not return to the game and missed Friday’s practice. He’s classified as day-to-day, according to coach Claude Julien.

The Islanders will similarly be missing forward Michael Grabner on Saturday. Islanders coach Jack Capuano said that Grabner’s flu-like symptoms were the main reason for the forward’s scratch.

Here are the lineups for the Bruins and Islanders:

BRUINS

Milan Lucic-David Krejci-Tyler Seguin

Brad Marchand-Patrice Bergeron-Brian Rolston

Benoit Pouliot-Chris Kelly-Jordan Caron

Daniel Paille-Gregory Campbell-Shawn Thornton


Zdeno Chara-Johnny Boychuk

Dennis Seidenberg-Joe Corvo

Greg Zanon-Adam McQuaid


Tuukka Rask

Tim Thomas


ISLANDERS

Matt Moulson-John Tavares-PA Parenteau

Nino Niederreiter-Casey Cizikas-Kyle Okposo

David Ullstrom-Frans Nielsen-Josh Bailey

Jay Pandolfo-Marty Reasoner-Matt Martin


Mark Streit-Steve Staios

Andrew MacDonald-Travis Hamonic

Mark Eaton-Milan Jurcina


Evgeni Nabokov

Anders Nilsson
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Posted On Saturday, 03.03.2012 / 12:11 PM

By Matt Kalman -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - At the Rink blog

Business as usual for Rolston against Isles

BOSTON – Brian Rolston has journeyed around the NHL enough now in his more than a decade in the League to not be overwhelmed by emotions when facing one of his former teams.

Rolston, who was acquired by Boston from the New York Islanders this past Monday, will square off with those Isles on Saturday afternoon at the TD Garden.

“When you get traded the first time I think it’s a little more nerve-wracking,” said Rolston. “But I’ve been traded a few times and switched teams a few times. I’ve got good friends, obviously, and I feel strongly about a lot of those guys, but when you get on the ice it’s the same old thing and you’re doing your job.”

After two games back with Boston, Rolston says he’s feeling comfortable. He was aided by a shift to right wing next to Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand last game against New Jersey.

“It was great. It’s a real easy game to play,” he said. “They made it easy on me and their system is easy to play.”

Islanders head coach Jack Capuano said that he and the organization wished nothing but the best for Rolston and defenseman Mike Mottau, who was also dealt to the Bruins. Rolston left his mark on the Isles, according to the coach.

“He was fitting in, it’s just for us Michael Grabner was playing on that second-line left wing there and Brian probably wasn’t getting the playing time he wanted,” said Capuano. “But forgetting statistically, he brought leadership to our room and he was a good guy to have around the young players. And it was a good for us to have him here, for sure.”
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Posted On Thursday, 03.01.2012 / 12:52 PM

By Matt Kalman -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - At the Rink blog

Boychuk making progress toward return

BOSTON -- Although he's been ruled out of tonight's home game against New Jersey, Boston Bruins defenseman Johnny Boychuk today continued to make progress toward a return to the lineup.

Boychuk, who suffered a concussion last Saturday in Ottawa, skated on his own before the Bruins' practice Wednesday. Today he took part in an optional morning skate with his teammates and increased his heart rate both during the skate and after it, as he stayed on longer than most of the other players.

"I'm feeling pretty good. Just got out there, got a skate in and we'll see how I feel. Just going day by day, I guess," Boychuk said.

It was Ottawa forward Chris Neil's big hit on the forecheck that knocked out Boychuk in Saturday's third period. Boychuk compared it to being "run over by a train," but he also stressed that it was a clean hit.

If Boychuk continues to feel well, he'll practice again with the team Friday and then could make his return to the lineup over the weekend. Given that teammate Nathan Horton hasn't skated for several weeks after his initial attempt to get back on the ice after a concussion, Boychuk knows these types of injuries can be tough to predict. However, he's not fretting over that.

"You can’t really be nervous," he said. "You go out there, you see how you feel. If you feel good, then you feel good. If you don't, then you get off."


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Posted On Thursday, 03.01.2012 / 12:36 PM

By Matt Kalman -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - At the Rink blog

New Jersey gets latest crack at defending champs

BOSTON -- The New Jersey Devils will try to snap a three-game losing streak, and also try to defeat the Boston Bruins for the first time in four tries this season, tonight at the TD Garden.

Although this is the Devils' final meeting with the Bruins in the regular season, they could run into the defending champs in the postseason. If the season ended today, second-seeded Boston and seventh-seeded New Jersey would meet.

Nonetheless, the Devils aren't looking at this game as any type of playoff preview. They're looking at it more like a chance to start playing better. They had won four in a row before their current slide.

"I think more so for ourselves, just to get back on track, try to get back in the winning column. We've been playing well, we've been playing some good hockey, we just need to do a better job of generating some more offense,"  captain Zach Parise said after the Devils' morning skate. "But I think this is definitely a team that's going to be there at the end of the year, so we definitely want to make sure we play a good game against them."

In an effort to jostle his team's offense, New Jersey coach Pete DeBoer has juggled his forward lines, including moving Dainius Zubrus from third-line center to second-line right wing with Petr Sykora and Patrik Elias.

Here’s how the Devils' lineup should look tonight against the Bruins:

Zach Parise - Adam Henrique - Ilya Kovalchuk
Petr Sykora - Patrik Elias - Dainius Zubrus
Alexei Ponikarovsky - Jacob Josefson - David Clarkson
Eric Boulton - Ryan Carter - Steve Bernier

Andy Greene - Mark Fayne
Bryce Salvador - Adam Larsson
Anton Volchenkov - Marek Zidlicky

Martin Brodeur
Johan Hedberg


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Posted On Thursday, 03.01.2012 / 12:32 PM

By Matt Kalman -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - At the Rink blog

Zanon will make Bruins' debut against Devils

BOSTON -- Bruins coach Claude Julien confirmed that defenseman Greg Zanon will make his debut with the team tonight when Boston hosts the New Jersey Devils at the TD Garden.

Zanon was acquired in a trade from Minnesota on Monday and arrived in the Boston area late Tuesday night morning. He practiced with the team Wednesday and took part in an optional morning skate today.

"Obviously, every system has it's little adjustments. But hockey's hockey in the end, and you just go out there and play," Zanon said. "You just have to make sure you keep things in mind. It's a defensive style, so it's pretty easy for me just to fall into my spot and allow the rush to come to me and let the play happen. I'm not too much of an on-attack defenseman, so I'll wait for my opportunities, and when I get my opportunities to make a play, make a hit, I'm stepping up to do what I can."

Julien said that Mike Mottau, who was also traded to Boston on Monday, would be the healthy scratch against the Devils.

Here's the Bruins' projected lineup:

Milan Lucic - Chris Kelly - David Krejci
Brad Marchand - Patrice Bergeron - Tyler Seguin
Benoit Pouliot - Brian Rolston - Jordan Caron
Daniel Paille - Gregory Campbell - Shawn Thornton

Zdeno Chara - Greg Zanon
Dennis Seidenberg - Joe Corvo
Andrew Ference - Adam McQuaid

Tim Thomas
Tuukka Rask



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Posted On Tuesday, 02.28.2012 / 1:12 PM

By Matt Kalman -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - At the Rink blog

Gilroy to get first look from Senators

BOSTON -- Ottawa isn't wasting any time getting newly acquired defenseman Matt Gilroy into its lineup.

Gilroy, who was acquired Monday from Tampa Bay in a trade for Brian Lee, will make his Senators debut tonight at the TD Garden against the Boston Bruins and skate on a pair with Chris Phillips, according to coach Paul MacLean.

"He's got good size and he's got good mobility and he can make a pass," MacLean said after his team's morning skate. "So he gets the puck going up the ice. He has the ability to join the rush and even lead the rush at times. That’s the type of player that we like on the back end, and he gives us another puck-moving guy on the third pair that has the ability to bring offense. And in today's game, if you're not attacking with four people, you're not going to score goals."

Gilroy said he was excited to get traded up in the standings to a team currently holding a playoff spot. He also thinks his game will fit well with his new teammates.

"There's a lot of talented players here," Gilroy said. "They like to move the puck. And there's a lot of talented forwards here that like to work with the D on the rush, so it should be exciting to play with."

Defenseman Matt Carkner will be scratched along with forward Kaspars Daugavins, as MacLean will also re-insert Zenon Konopka into the Sens' lineup. Robin Lehner gets a second straight start in net.

"It's going to be fun," Lehner said. "I played Boston last year once. They're a good team, obviously, and a huge challenge for both me and the team."

Here's the Senators' projected lineup:

Milan Michalek - Jason Spezza - Bobby Butler
Colin Greening - Kyle Turris - Daniel Alfredsson
Zenon Konopka - Zack Smith - Erik Condra
Nick Foligno - Jim O'Brien - Chris Neil

Filip Kuba - Erik Karlsson
Chris Phillips - Matt Gilroy
Jared Cowen - Sergei Gonchar

Robin Lehner
Alex Auld
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Posted On Tuesday, 02.28.2012 / 1:00 PM

By Matt Kalman -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - At the Rink blog

Bruins will have Rolston, Mottau in the lineup

BOSTON -- The Boston Bruins' three deadline-day acquisitions were all in town this morning.

Brian Rolston and Mike Mottau, who were picked up from the New York Islanders, took the morning skate at the TD Garden in preparation for tonight's game against Ottawa. Both are scheduled to play against the Senators.

Greg Zanon, who was acquired from Minnesota, arrived late in the morning. Bruins coach Claude Julien said he wants Zanon to get in a practice with the team Wednesday before playing the veteran blueliner in a game.

With Nathan Horton (concussion), Rich Peverley (knee) and Johnny Boychuk (concussion) currently out of the lineup, Boston needed the reinforcements.

"We've run into some injuries lately," Julien said. "That's been a challenge in itself to keep our lineup going in the right direction. So now there's a little bit more breathing room, as far as putting some guys in that have been around for a while."

Shawn Thornton has been ill, but took the skate and should be ready to go at puck drop.

Here is the Bruins' projected lineup for tonight:

Milan Lucic - Chris Kelly - David Krejci
Brad Marchand - Patrice Bergeron - Tyler Seguin
Benoit Pouliot - Brian Rolston - Jordan Caron
Daniel Paille - Gregory Campbell - Shawn Thornton

Zdeno Chara - Andrew Ference
Dennis Seidenberg - Joe Corvo
Mike Mottau - Adam McQuaid

Tim Thomas
Tuukka Rask

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Posted On Tuesday, 02.14.2012 / 12:24 PM

By Matt Kalman -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - At the Rink blog

AHL recalls eager to get into Bruins' lineup

BOSTON -- With an 11-day, six-game road trip looming after they host the New York Rangers tonight at TD Garden, the Bruins have stocked their roster with a couple spare parts for use in case of emergency.

Defenseman Andrew Bodnarchuk and forward Joshua Hennessy were recalled from the Providence (AHL) farm club Monday and both took part in the morning skate today. Both project to be healthy scratches against the Rangers.

For Hennessy, who was born in Brockton, Mass., joining his hometown team is a dream come true. The former second-round pick of San Jose is also overjoyed to be back in the NHL after skating in just 20 games over a three-season span and then playing last year in Switzerland.

Now he's 27 and feels better prepared to handle playing at the sport's highest level if he gets into the lineup.

"I'm a little older than the last time I was up. ... I'd say there's a lot less nerves this time," said Hennessy, whose only NHL experience came with Ottawa. "Should I get the opportunity to play, it's just move my feet, use my skating and puck-handling ability, I guess, and work hard, be responsible defensively -- leave an impression in absolutely any way possible."

Bodnarchuk also hasn't played in the NHL since the 2009-10 season, when he skated in four games for the Bruins. Boston used a fifth-round pick on Bodnarchuk in 2006, but other prospects have passed him on the depth chart the last couple seasons. Boston's desire to get regular seventh defenseman Steven Kampfer some consistent playing time in the AHL opened up this opportunity for Bodnarchuk, who has played better this season than last with the P-Bruins.

"This year I'm really, really happy with how the year's going. I think as a fourth-year pro, I'm still a young guy, but I have almost four years under my belt and I think the biggest thing for me has been my consistency," Bodnarchuk said. "Personally, game in and game out, I haven't had a bad game and I think that's a big thing for me. I came out of juniors an offensive guy and I sort of bought into the role as a defensive, shutdown PK guy. The consistency of my game in this year is what's really helped me come on and turn some more heads."


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Posted On Tuesday, 02.14.2012 / 11:40 AM

By Matt Kalman -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - At the Rink blog

Julien doesn't want Bruins concerned with standings

BOSTON -- The last time the New York Rangers and Boston Bruins met, they were neck and neck in the race for the top spot in the Eastern Conference.

The Rangers left the TD Garden that afternoon with a win and sole possession of first place. Now they return to the scene of that dramatic overtime victory with a comfortable seven-point lead. Bruins coach Claude Julien, however, doesn't want his team worrying about the standings as much as what his players have to do on the ice tonight.

"I don't think we're necessarily looking at this game like we need to catch up with these guys more than we need to play well, and play well to give us a chance to win the game," Julien said after his team's optional morning skate. "It's as simple as that. Right now, our issues are a lot different than worrying about how far ahead they are or how much we need to catch up. We just have to go out there and play. And if we play well and do the job that we know we can, well hopefully we'll come up with a win and the rest will take care of itself."

The Bruins will leave for a six-game, 11-day road trip after facing the Rangers. So they've recalled defenseman Andrew Bodnarchuk and forward Joshua Hennessy to provide depth while away from home. But for tonight, the lineup figures to feature the same players that beat Nashville on Saturday:

Milan Lucic - Chris Kelly - Rich Peverley
Brad Marchand - Patrice Bergeron - Tyler Seguin
Benoit Pouliot - David Krejci - Jordan Caron
Daniel Paille - Gregory Campbell - Shawn Thornton

Zdeno Chara - Johnny Boychuk
Dennis Seidenberg - Joe Corvo
Andrew Ference - Adam McQuaid

Tim Thomas
Tuukka Rask

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Quote of the Day

A piece of scar tissue breaks off, pinches the nerve, and every time you move your leg it's almost like having a root canal in your stomach and groin.

— Detroit Red Wings center Stephen Weiss on his sports hernia surgery